If you love watching NBC’s The Voice, you’re in luck: You can experience it in person at McCharacters Music Café and Sports Bar in Palm Coast for the next three months.
Kerry and Marty McCarrick, who own the bar and restaurant, wanted to find a way to spice up their annual karaoke contest, so they decided to bring the popular reality show to life Thursday nights. Four judges sit in front of the McCharacters stage in rolling office chairs, facing the audience as people audition.
Then, just as in the show, judges who like what they hear turn around in their chairs to indicate their interest in anyone auditioning.
“The cool thing about this is it’s more than a karaoke contest this year,” Kerry McCarrick said. “The teams are actually doing coaching, too. All of our judges are established musicians, so they’ll be able to help their teams a lot.”
The judges are Paul Hunt of Beach 92.7; Marty McCarrick, a Sony recording artist; Tracy Thompson, the winner of McCharacters’ 2010 karaoke contest; and Destiny McCarrick, who was named the female vocalist of the year in the 2003 USA World Showcase.
If more than one judge turns around in his or her chair during an audition, the contestant gets to pick which team to join.
Blind auditions will be held until Nov. 20. Anyone who wants to try out can come and sign up with Kerry McCarrick the evening they wish to audition. Contestants can practice on the karaoke stage until around 9 p.m., when the judges arrive.
And if you try out one week and don’t make a team, you can try out again.
Following the auditions, the competition will take a brief hiatus for the holidays, and McCharacters will return to its usual karaoke nights. In January, the competition will continue with battle rounds culminating in a Jan. 10 final.
The top vocalist will win a 10-day vacation to Hawaii. Second prize is $500 cash, but there will be other prizes as well.
The McCarricks opened their restaurant five years ago, but they’ve been in the restaurant industry for two decades.
“We try to always find a new theme for our restaurants,” Kerry McCarrick said. “Music made a lot of sense because our entire family is so into it.”
Firehouse Subs gives back to local fire departments
Firehouse Subs in Palm Coast is part of a franchise that donates to equipment in support of public safety across 30 states — including to Flagler County.
The foundation recently approved a donation of a fire extinguisher training simulator to the Palm Coast Fire Department, which cost more than $10,000. The foundation has also donated to the Flagler County Fire Department in the past.
Nationwide, it donates to public safety efforts by purchasing defibrillators, thermal imaging cameras, K-9 units and more. It also sponsors prevention education and training.
The Firehouse Subs franchises of Flagler and Volusia counties are hosting a poker tournament to benefit the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, hosted by franchisees David and Melinda Hause.
“Part of our philosophy is to give back to the community,” David Hause said. “It’s just in our heart; it’s just what we do.”
The couple opened their Palm Coast location of the store in 2003 and have since opened three others. Part of the appeal for expanding Firehouse Subs, David Hause said, is that the restaurants bring life-saving equipment to communities who need them.
The tournament will be held at 3 p.m. Oct. 21, at the Daytona Beach Kennel Club and Poker Room. Entry is $50, and there is a guaranteed $1,000 first prize. All players will be provided with lunch, and there will be special drawings and raffles. To register, call 904-955-9900.
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